By Debajyoti Chakraborty
Several Relentless campaigning by the forest department against poaching of endangered animals were poached by failed to drive home a message as tribals who gathered at Ayodhya Hills to celebrate Disum Sendra on Saturday night.
Blood and gore marked the hunting festival - celebrated on the occasion of Buddha Purnima every year - as the villagers hunted various endangered animals throughout Saturday night and then cooked them early on Sunday. Sources said the catch included two wild boars, two wild cats, a deer calf, two rabbits, two mud turtles and a python. All these animals are considered as "endangered" under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
The DFO of Kangsabati North Division, Soma Das, said she was aware that two rabbits were poached by the tribals, but is yet to receive any information regarding a wild boar or a deer.
For the past few days, the forest department had been distributing leaflets among the villagers to raise awareness against poaching. Despite a full-fledged campaign by a 20-member team led by three rangers, it seems that little could be done, said an official.
About 15,000 tribals from Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa had gathered for the festival. Bipod Taran Mahato of Jharkhand's Gamaria village said: "This year the catch hasn't been good because of the excessive fog. Though we spotted quite a few animals, the chase couldn't be pursued due to poor visibility." More....